REVIEW: Old Henry

Whether it’s the cowboys-and-Indians of the 1950s or the “revisionist” approach that has since come to define the genre, the Western is all about the persistence of legends.

Former pioneer Henry (Tim Blake Nelson) and his son Wyatt (Gavin Lewis) live alone on a remote farm.…

PODCAST: LFF 2021 – The Harder They Fall & Spencer [Movie Robcast]

Episode 129 of The Movie Robcast is the first instalment of our London Film Festival review.

To keep it to a manageable length we’ve decided to break it down into multiple episodes this year.

Kicking off proceedings is Jeymes Samuel’s lively Western, The Harder They Fall, starring Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Regina King, Lakeith Stanfield, Zazie Beetz, and Delroy Lindo.…

REVIEW: The Power of the Dog (London Film Festival 2021)

Jane Campion return to filmmaking after a twelve-year hiatus with a composed yet striking rumination on masculinity and repression.

The second Netflix western of the festival, The Power of the Dog starts as a tale of two brothers – the plump, well-scrubbed George (Jesse Plemons, an undemonstrative Newfoundland dog) and the lean, raw-boned Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch, a sharp-eyed Border Collie) – who run a large ranch in Montana circa 1925.…

REVIEW: The Comeback Trail [Sky Cinema]

The Comeback Trail is a cheesy, intermittently charming comedy caper elevated by the strength of its cast.

A remake of the 1982 comedy of the same name, it stars Robert DeNiro as Max Barber, a small-time movie producer in 70s Hollywood.…

RETROSPECTIVE: McCabe & Mrs. Miller [BFI Southbank]

Or how the West was sold.

CONTAINS SPOILERS, INCLUDING THE ENDING OF THE FILM

Robert Altman’s 1971 “anti-Western” is a gently ironic paean to the gentle charms of the more civilised frontier and a salutary lesson about the dangers of unchecked capitalism.…

PODCAST: Greenland & News of the World [Movie RobCast]

It’s been a minute since our last episode so #110 is a bumper wrap-up of what the Robs have been watching.

First, the shocking revelation that Gerard Butler has made a good movie with end-of-days disaster movie Greenland, currently available on Amazon Prime.…

Jane Got A Gun isn’t quite sure what to do with itself

 

While the social timeliness of the Western may not be what it once was — even in its most revisionist form it seems a bit old hat — the genre that once defined America seems determined to at least die with its boots on.

The Hateful Eight: where does it stand in the QT lineup?

 

Say what you want about his handling of race1 or his cribbing from other filmmakers2, but one thing’s certain about Quentin Tarantino: love him or hate him3, he’s one hell of a showman.

That’s perhaps never been clearer than with the recent hubbub surrounding the screening of The Hateful Eight.…

Assassination makes Sergio Leone look like the soul of brevity

 

At once an old-fashioned action-adventure of the sort Harrison Ford once felt so at home in, an elegiac historical drama with shades of Sergio Leone, and a guts-and-glory shoot ‘em up that recalls Inglourious Basterds, Choi Dong-hoon’s Assassination offers up plenty of bang for its buck.

Slow West, my son: Go see

 

The genre in which John Wayne once set out to kill his niece because she’d had hands laid on her by an “Injun” has become more reflective in recent years; elegiac even.

The Western is now less concerned with drawling former Confederates and more about allegory, about the decline of myth and the uncertain rise of civilization al a Unforgiven or The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.…